About this Show

Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

NETWORK

DURATION
01:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v787

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Irs 19, Us 12, Cleaver 7, Chris Matthews 7, The Irs 6, Ted 4, California 4, Benghazi 4, Smith 4, Victoria 3, Washington 3, Cleveland 3, United States 3, Maxwell 3, Bob 3, John Boehner 2, Lou 2, Craig Weintraub 2, Dennis 2, George Bush 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    May 15, 2013
    3:00 - 4:01pm PDT  

3:00pm
far would support that theory. as a matter of fact, and i haven't gotten to the higher-ups in this e-mail chain yet. when the general counsel says, hey, wait a minute, we shouldn't be mentioning al qaeda here. he is presumably not doing that for political reasons. >> right now, the president is just minutes away. politics nation with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and breaking news from the white house. president obama is about toik ma a statement on the irs controversy where officials are accused of selecting conservative groups for extra scrutiny. the president met with officials from the treasury department which oversees the irs. late this afternoon. earlier today attorney general eric holder testified about how he's ordered a criminal investigation into the irs controversy. joining me now, democratic
3:01pm
strategist bob schumm and chris matthews. what do you want to hear from the president? >> i think reverend al, this is one area where i don't think the president has any guilt personally. any responsibility personally for what happened. he is, however, head of the executive branch. he has to offer for it. the united states government which has a certain image with certain people has a positive image with me but there are people out there on the right and the center right who don't like the government. this is an example they will argue of government malfeasance, corruption, bias, whatever. so he has to deal with it. he has to put out this fire. the way you put out fire in politics, you remove the bad apple so you can say the barrel is clean. if he doesn't do that over time. he may not have to do it tonight but if he doesn't make sure at some point within a few months, the people responsible for what looks like biased treatment of tax returns are gone, then people will all know in this country, right, left and center, they're still there in the irs
3:02pm
looking at their returns and tirs will not have a good image. it will have a bad image. >> i think one of the things, you're the man, i said the godfather of the beltway. you know washington politics. a lot of people around the country have been hearing the right wing push this hike the president or some of his political operatives have ordered this, or were behind this when there is been no evidence or allegation by anyone that we've heard from in the irs so far that even remotely has said that. i think you said that in your opening statement here. >> that's a checkable fact, reverend. that is a checkable fact. this isn't some mirky weird thing like these benghazi talking points. this either happened outer didn't. did someone high up from the campaign or the president call up the irs, these aren't politician. they're gs-16 or 17's.
3:03pm
they're not involved in politics at all. it is hard to imagine. it is really hard to imagine for me that someone who is a total political cowboy like the people in the white house would know these people's phone numbers, would know how to reach them and certainly not call them and tell them what to do. the minute they did that, these people would run across to their supervisor and say somebody tried to influence us politically. i think the president, my gut instinct tell me he is clean as a whistle in this baby. it isn't something he can bs. about it either happened or it didn't. nobody has any evidence that it did. >> nobody. i want to bring in congressman cleaver, a democrat from missouri. congressman, what do you think the president needs to say in his statement tonight? >> i think he needs to be forthright and i think that he has been. programs the one thing missing that the media wants to know about because of the associated press issue. i'm going to get to the bottom of this.
3:04pm
whoever is found to have been responsible for it. it is no longer a federal employee. the president did not give orders in spite of what's going on on the blogs to the irs, to go after his political enemies. i think the president needs to be exactly what he has been. i think people want him to be a little stronger in terms of who is going to do an investigation and what he's going to do after it's over. i'm not sure that it is helpful for him to say i found out about it on tv. the tv news. to go after this issue. because he hasn't done anything wrong. these people are obsessed with the president. he has taken control of their soul. and their obsession is prolonging our recession. so he has to be able to get us past this issue as best as he can considering that they will try to drag this thing out for another two or three years. >> let me bring in political
3:05pm
guru, bob, your feelings on this, both chris matthews and the congressman pointed out and i've been arguing, that we've got to separate the reckless allegations that some are making that there's some accusation against the president from what the president needs to do to govern. in fact the person that was the commissioner at the irs at the time these things was happening was a republican appointee. that's how ridiculous it is to me that this was ordered by someone. but the president has to do something definitive tonight. what do you think he has to do? >> i think he'll be very strong and very tough. i think he'll either have an investigation. chris and i have been in presidential campaigns. it would be suicidal if you had the capacity tooted it, to call the irs people and say we want you to go after our enemies. no one in their right minds can think the president or anyone associated with him politically
3:06pm
would do that. i think it is incumbent on the president to make the clear that this is intolerable. he has already said that. to go out of his way to say we'll get to the bottom of this. we'll find out how it happened. i suspect chris is right. this is a couple of gs-16's, gs-17's. it got found out. it has come out. the republicans and this is where congressman cleaver is right. they're so obsessed with their hatred of the president that anything that happens, they want to blame on him. i don't think the country will buy it. i think the country understands. assuming the president does what he has to do tonight. i think the country understands and obama has nothing to do with this. what congress ought to be doing instead of making these wild charges, what these republicans in congress ought to be doing is focusing on things like jobs, immigration, education, things that really matter on people's lives. >> maybe that's what they don't want to focus on. chris, let me go back to you.
3:07pm
could this ultimately, this obsession that congressman cleaver talks about, could this ultimately end up back firing on the republicans? are they overjumping the runway here? >> i would think that would be justice if it did happen. if they did keep saying the president was involved in this. they can say fairly and authoritatively, it is his job to fix it. i'll tell you, reverend, one piece of this thing that we have to keep in mind as we deal with effective government, and those of us who believe in effective positive government have to be the ones to make it work. the right wing loves it when they screw up because it makes their case. the reasonable people will say i need the government. not just to protect me. i need it to do a lot of things i want done to keep this society okay. the problem is there are people in this circus maybe 10%, maybe 20% on a bad day, who want this president to have an as contribution next to his name that he really wasn't president.
3:08pm
like the guy in baseball who used drugs themselves want to say he really didn't have that batting average. he wasn't really the first african-american president. he really didn't do health care. he really didn't kill bin laden. they've been fighting like that, like donald trump, they can't stand the idea that he is president. and a piece of it is racism. not that somebody in one race or group doesn't like somebody in another race or group. it is the expense the white race must rule. that's what racism is. and they can't stand the idea that a man who is not white is president. that is real. that sense of racial superiority and rule is in the hearts of some people in this country. not all conservatives. not even all right wingers. it always come through with this birther crap and the other references and somehow trying to erase obamacare, his record in history and a big part of it is bought into by people like john boehner who is not a bad guy but he knows the only way to talk to the hard right is talk their
3:09pm
language. that's it. this guy shouldn't be president somehow. that he isn't president somehow. that he is an asterisk. like barry bonds or somebody took drugs so he didn't really have the batting average. >> you take away everything. that's what white supremacy is. that's not calling all of them that. but clearly there is an element there. congressman cleaver, i saw you wanted to get in. >> we've got so many real issues to face that it is almost obscene that we are going to lose some time dealing with a nonissue. i'm not saying the president doesn't need address the irs issue. but the big vote this week will be the affordable health care act for the 37th time, reverend. the 37th time. and virginia wolffe said all extreme feelings are allied to madness. and i think the obsession has created a madness and all people can do is think, obama, there
3:10pm
was a traffic accident. oh, obama. it is going to be 90 degrees. oh, obama. and i think that that is a sick kind of a thing going on in a small group of people. >> you know, bob, i saw the day where the deficit has actually shrunk. something the republicans have been saying, that's what they want their big deficit hawks. the deficit is actually shrunk. even beyond what anyone expected. they're not discussing even that. $200 billion less deficit than we thought it would be. and yet, that's not even being discussed. i'm not saying the president shouldn't address the irs. i think he should. i think he should discuss the a.p. and benghazi. i don't think that there is any evidence that he directly did anything but discuss it. but let's not put jobs on the back burner.
3:11pm
let's not put immigration and let's not put deficit reduction on the back burner. >> the deficit will be down 2.1% of gdp by 2015 which is well within the range that economists think it should be. the hatred of the president, and chris is right about this. much of it is rooted in race i. it is so intense that there is no interest in dealing with these other issues. also, republicans are deeply divided on everything except trying to repeal the affordable care act which isn't going to happen. so they'll focus on the scandals. a way for boehner, for mccould not to appease the tea party. and i think you asked a smart question. i think this could come back and bite the republicans politically. look back to 1998 when there was an intense effort to impeach president clinton. the democrats went out there in the mid-term and said, impeachment, scandals, it is all they're talking about. we ought to be talking about education, social security, the
3:12pm
environment which were the real issues at that time. and the republicans got spanked badly in that mid-term election. the democrats defied history and gained a lot of seats in that election. i think this could happen again. the only organizing principal the republican party has is animus toward president obama. >> we are waiting for the president. the president is going to make a live statement. he met at 4:45 this afternoon with the treasury department officials. he is to address us around the irs situation and he will be speaking any moment. chris matthews, as we wait for the president, the question i think that every one around the country is going to ask after this is, all right, the president is going to lay out a course no matter what he says. the republicans clearly will not
3:13pm
accept it. i can predict that now. what will get us past this whole back and forward so we can move on with the issues that this senate and congressional term ought to be dealing with? >> well, the one thing the president has to do, and i don't know if it is even doable, to restore some sense that the irs that takes big chunk of your income does it legally and fairly and tries to do it progressively is basically a good institution. paying taxes is always ownerus. they know somebody has to pay for the military. somebody has to pay for the cost of government. we want a good government. we want it to work and be strong. so it has to be paid for. they have to believe like a baseball -- how about a baseball fan? you have to believe that 99% of the time, the umpire is calling at this time way he's calling it. it is a fair call. you may not agree with all the call but you have to believe the guy out there on the field is trying to call it.
3:14pm
if you don't, the game doesn't work and nobody goes to the game anymore. so we do have faith in certain institutions. something as basic as sports, umpires, refs. you have to believe the irs are the refs. if you stop believing that, then you really get an attitude about government which feeds completely into the right wing. they say don't trust the government. it is going to come get your gun. don't trust the government. the helicopters are coming. don't trust the government because fema is coming to get you. all this crazy paranoia is fed by this irs story. they don't give a darn about the press being bothered or chased after or phone number taken down by the justice department. they probably don't care about benghazi because they can't understand it. but they do understand the attacks problem. every time i get a parking problem, i get mad at the government. i figure they're just doing this to raise money any way. my parking on the street didn't hurt anybody. they just want my money. so i have an attitude, too, about taxes. the right wing says government
3:15pm
is wrong. how many time have they said, abolish the ira? i don't know what that means. they hate the atf, the irs, they hate the government. they're possis out there who want to fight it. they're getting armed to fight it. this feeds them. i'm afraid no matter how you good the president does his job tonight of taking charge, these right wingers, the people in the hard right, the people out in idaho and the hills and places like even pennsylvania are going to say, i told you that government is no damn good. >> let me show you this picture. this is douglas schulman. he is the commissioner of irs when these things happened. he was appointed by george bush. he was a republican appointee. he was in charge when these things happened. what i do not is why they are attacking this president
3:16pm
personal personally that he could have gotten to anybody under the leadership of this republican appointed commission here would clearly have not only cooperated but they could have run to him to say they were being pressured by democrats. this was the commissioner in charge of the irs when this happened. >> the problem we have and i think chris hit it right on the head. is that a certain portion of the population, no matter what evidence is there is going to look at president obama as being the villain. we've seen it. there's a percentage of the american population based on polling data that i saw this week still believe that president obama is a muslim. there is a certain percentage of the population that doesn't know the name of the vice president of the united states. it will be very difficult to erase the things that people
3:17pm
have embraced. not because their facts but because of their obsession with the president. and it is sick. and you know, they simply want this to be a figment of his pigmentation. what is in question is there were certain tea party groups that were applying for tax exemption and the suspicion that was raised is whether they were really trying to do political things and as as if this was a tax-exempt or a charity. if they only targeted conservatives, it is clearly wrong. we all should renounce it and repudiate it. we're talking about the questioning was around whether or not they were using these activities to do political work. and this i think was accelerated a lot lately when you ended up
3:18pm
with certain supreme court rulings. i think also we've seen that accusation on the left. bloomberg came out today with a report that some left wing groups, in fact, one was disqualified. the progressive advocacy organization was not given their 501 c 4 status. we don't know any of those on the right that was disqualified or told no. so again, i think an investigation is in order because we are starting to hear there were some on both sides. if they were doing and applied in the appropriate and proper way. but at the same time, how do you leap from there to the oval office or to the obama campaign? >> you leap because you want to leap. look, the irs ought to be into these folks and all of them, not just people on the right or the left.
3:19pm
the criteria should be neutral. the reason it goes to the president and congressman cleaver is right. chris is right. is because there is such a hatred toward him in some part of the population. i would like to step back and say, that i also agree with charlie cook from the cook political report today who says that a lot of this stuff will have no impact on the president standing in the country. because the fact is, people want congress and want washington to focus on issues they really care about. not just on this beltway stuff. of course people don't like the irs. i mean, all of us at some time or other get frustrated with the irs. but i think the president will want a pretty convincing victory in november. can come out of this with the main stream of america thinking that he is doing the right thing. thinking he is doing what he is supposed to do. holding the irs accountable and there will always be 20%, maybe 30% of the country who will have a deep disrespect for this guy. who thinks he doesn't belong there and who actually think
3:20pm
that somehow or other he is an he is an illegitimate president. that's the asterisk. it wouldn't matter if tonight he was a combination of john f. kennedy and franklin roosevelt. >> i think there is no question about it. i think there is a lot of reasons for it. but at the end of the day, chris matthews, i think the american people are going to be fair and deal with the merits as they see it. when all the smoke clears, there is either fire or there's not. >> right. i think we've got -- >> hold on a minute. the president is entering. the president is coming. let us stop and listen to the president. >> i just finished speaking with secretary lou and senior officials at the treasury department to discuss the investigation into irs personnel who improperly screened conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. and i look forward to taking some questions at tomorrow's press conference. today i wanted to make sure i
3:21pm
get out to all of you some information about what we're doing about this. and where we go from here. i have reviewed the treasury department watch dog's report and the misconduct that uncovered is inexcusable. it is inexcusable and americans are right to be angry about it and i am angry about it. i will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency. but especially in the irs. given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. as i said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you're from. the fact of the matter is that the irs has to operate with absolute integrity. the government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust. that is especially true for the irs. so here's what we're going to do. first. we're going to hold the
3:22pm
responsible parties accountable. yesterday i directed secretary lou to follow up on the i.g. you had a to it see how this happened and who is responsible and to make sure we understand all the facts. today secretary lou took the first step by accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the irs. given the controversy surrounding this audit, it is important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward. second. we're going to put in place new safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again. i directed the secretary to ensure the irs begins implementing the i.g.'s recommendations right away. third, we will work with congress as it performs its oversight role. our administration has to make sure that we are working hand in hand with congress to get this thing fixed. congress, democrats and republicans owe it to the
3:23pm
american people to treat that authority with the responsibility it deserves and in a way that doesn't smack of partisan agendas. i think one thing that you've seen is across the board, everybody believes what happened in, as reported in the i.g.'s report is an outraining. the good news is it is fixable. and it is in everyone's best interests to work together to fix it. i'll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again. by holding the responsible parties accountable, putting in place new safeguards and going forward, making sure the law is applied as it should be in a fair and impartial way. and we're going to have to make sure that the laws are clear so we can have confidence that they are enforced in a fair and impartial way. and that there is not too much
3:24pm
ambiguity. that's what i expect and what the american people deserve and that's what we're going to do. thank you very much. >> that was the president speaking about the controversy involving the irs. the president said, he is angry about this matter and it will not be tolerated. and he said, he has accept the resignation of the acting irs commissioner. chris, your reaction. >> he chopped off the head of the guy running the irs. he didn't just request. he fired the guy. this guy was the deputy under shulman. he's been there through all the mess. it was the first step the president had to do. one thing i like about the brits. they resign when they blow it. this guy was told to resign. he was fired. this is what a president has to do. so i think it is a first great step. next step, he said he is going after the people within the agency and get them. i know he has to go with the
3:25pm
civil service and all those rules. you can't just fire a bunch of people that aren't political appointment. but he fired the one guy that is a political appointment. i was very impressed. he did it right. >> congressman, your reaction. >> he was right on target. i don't know what else he could have done. i think the outline he just gave the american people was one that cannot be improved on. he wants to work with congress on oversight issues. i think that this ought to be put to bed. i'm sure there are going to be those who will figure out something that he did not say. i think he touched all of the bases. and this issue needs to be issued out of the way so we can deal with the real issues. >> bob? your response. >> he was clear, simple, direct, uncomplicated which was the key to doing this right. not a lot of words or explanation. some real action. and i think the next step in
3:26pm
this will be to go through, to find the responsible parties, to hold them accountable under civil service laws. if write them, i would be thinking maybe they should resign before they're asked to resign or before they're fired. it is pretty clear the president is angry about this. if i were him i would be very angry, by the way. is angry about this. wants to get it dealt with and we'll see if the republicans are now willing to cooperate in a way to make sure, concocted by somebody in a dark corner of capitol hill that the president or someone working for him, somehow or other had something to do with this. >> chris matthews, when you hear that last part. the president made three statements. one, the resignation that you clearly reminded us that was requested. he said the recommendations of the i.g. report. he also that that they would work with congress in their oversight.
3:27pm
will the republicans in congress work along in a unified way in terms of where we go from here to make sure this doesn't happen again. as the president said. or is this over tonight? those three things enough for to us move on. >> i think the president's third step beyond firing the guy and going with the i.g. report saying he'll implement it. the third step was sophisticated and smart. if he basically agrees to love to death as we say in politics, really gets in there and the ranking members on capitol hill with the committees run by republicans, and by the way, they should do it in the senate side to get a piece of this. it is controlled by the democrats. they should probably have the chairs of the senate side, the members on the house side join. perhaps in a joint committee even to go after this mess and make sure that both sides agree that it is a problem dealing with the government. not with either party. now of course, people like issa
3:28pm
will try to play it up as much as they can. maybe the best move is to make sure that people are in there, muscling their way in if they have to so it doesn't become a kangaroo court. and i think that's a good chance, a better chance than standing aside. you stand aside and let issa do this stuff and you're looking for a partisan operation. >> congressman, you deal with these republicans every day. how does this happen or should we let issa just go for it and hope he undoes himself? >> reverend, chris, please understand that statement is not going to derail the house. now, maybe some of those in the senate will move on. but not here in the house. we have hyper partisanship, tribal politics being played out. i know some very good and decent
3:29pm
people who are on the other side. who are going to say, no, the president was behind it and they'll keep saying it. my experience as i've been in washington has been one of the most amazing things i've seen in my life. people will be proven to be incorrect on something and wrong and they will continue to say it. day after day and night after night no matter what. and i think we're going to see that in the house. unfortunately and tragically. i do agree with the cook report that the president's approval rating will not suffer. because i think it is one of those situations. the people already who hate him will continue to hate him. and much of the volume that we've been hearing has been turned up by the haters. >> bob, you are the first one to mention the cook report and that it won't hurt him. will this energize his supporters? will this energize his base? he has come out. he's been definitive. he's taken firm action. as chris matthews says. he took the head down of the irs
3:30pm
by his request. will this make his own supporters in any way, will it galvanize them? >> it will certainly make them feel better. he took control of the situation. the more republicans go after him, the more that they politicize this. it has an effect on main stream opinion. what the president did was go out there. in this statement say, let's work together. in addition to all the other steps we're taking. to make sure this can't happen again. if congressman cleaver is right and the response he gets from people in the house is, republicans in the house, no, we don't want to work with you. we just want to chase you. we want to sling mud at you. we want to say you did something you didn't do. the only disagreement i have with anything that's been said-ins congressman cleaver, you see these guys every day. they seem like perfectly nice human beings. i don't think they're good and
3:31pm
decent if they keep willfully telling a lie about the president or anybody else. >> well, chris matthews, you know washington well. what do you think republicans are doing right now? are they had you hadding to make a unified response? or are we going to hear two or three different guys just shooting from the hip tonight? >> they're probably a little dismayed because the president really did take charge. i was thinking about fact that the great thing about our country, and it has been true for a couple hundred years. with our problems of slavery and the original sin and all that stuff, the one thing good about everybody in the world represents as really good. every two years we have elections. we accept the results. even when they're murky. we say all right. somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. we move on. in other countries they never admit that. they hate each other. and no matter who wins, the other side said we stole it. you stole it. everything is stolen. and the other side is no good. and there is no legitimacy.
3:32pm
the only way you have legitimate government, like when we're kids and we're playing cowboys and indians and tag, you have to admit you're it. you have to admit you got me. you have to have a basic understanding of how it works. the people on the right don't play that way anymore. they don't say you got me like kids playing cowboys and indians, good guys and bad guys. they don't even play tag. you got me. they don't even say that. they keep saying the same trash over and over again like the congressman said. and they're led by really rich people they sort of respect in a weird way like trump who just keep saying this over and over again against all evidence. you can't make money that way. i don't know how you operate in politics. the new politics on the right is, don't accept any idea of honesty, fairness, fact. just keep feeding that animal instinct on the right that somehow there must be something wrong here. we've got a president named barack obama. there must be something out of
3:33pm
kilter here. we've got to get to it. we'll prove it yet. this sense of, i will not accept this man's election. he keeps winning by big majorities. you know, you all know what i'm about. >> i think you hit it on the head. this is a very different crowd. i would not play tag with them, chris. if i tagged them, they would probably call the police and arrest me for assault. thank you for your time tonight. we'll be right back with more on this story. look what mommy is having.
3:34pm
mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. with three of your daily vegetable servings have hail damage to both their cars. ted ted is trying to get a hold of his insurance agent. maxwell is not. he's on geico.com setting up an appointment with an adjuster. ted is now on hold with his insurance company. maxwell is not and just confirmed
3:35pm
a 5:30 time for tuesday. ted, is still waiting. yes! maxwell is out and about... with ted's now ex-girlfriend. wheeeee! whoo! later ted! online claims appointments. just a click away on geico.com. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] to support strong bones. and the brand most recommended by... my doctor. my gynecologist. my pharmacist. citracal. citracal. [ female announcer ] you trust your doctor.
3:36pm
citracal. 150 years. from the civil war era, right up to today. and through it all, the california teachers association has stood strong. for the legislation that established california's free public schools... ensuring funding for all students... the first law to reduce class sizes... and establishing community colleges. our schools may have changed, but our commitment to california's children never will... because we know quality public schools make a better california for all of us.
3:37pm
we're back with breaking news. president obama's announcement that he is making changes in the wake of the irs scandal. and that he's holding people accountable. >> we're going to hold the responsible parties accountable. yesterday, i directed secretary lu to follow up on the i.g. audit to see who is responsible and to make sure we understand all the facts. today, secretary lu took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the irs. because given the controversy surrounding this audit, it is important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward. second. we're going to put in place new safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again. >> and he called on congress to
3:38pm
work together. >> our administration has to make sure that we are working hand in hand with congress to get this thing fixed. we owe it to the american people. in a way that doesn't smack of partisan agendas because i think one thing that you've seen is across the board, everybody believes what happened in, as reported in the i.g.'s report is an outrage. is good news is it is fixable and it is in everyone's best interests to work together to fix it. >> joining me now, thank you for being here. ysh reaction? >> it is crisis management 101. somebody has to get let go. that's what they've done to staunch the bleeding because the media is fixating on this until they do something like that. here's the problem. problem number one. the interim director of the irs
3:39pm
who is one of only two political appointees, he was not there when it happened. the guy in charge retired a long time ago. >> who was a republican bush appointee. doug shulman. he is gone. so the poor guy who is there now who is just the interim. why is he interim? they probably could not get anyone appointed. some head had to roll. that's fine. part two. with congress. i wonder if susan collin will be one of the people the president will work with. back in 2000 she was one of the half dozen people in congress, sending them letters and demanding they look at the nams's 501 c 3 status. when they don't like a member of the more liberal organization, what they see as a liberal organization is saying about that president, president george bush, members of congress felt quite free to use their authority. the great power of a united states senator or a member of congress to demand that the irs take away the naacp's c 3
3:40pm
status. i'm wondering if the same congress that feels no compunction about using their great power by the public to try to push the irs to take away the naacp status. they have the temperatuerity. >> we talked about that last night. >> not only could you have people like susan collins, you had the speaker of the house talking about somebody should go to jail themselves haven't even started the investigation. and he is already locking people up. we don't even know who did what and even if there is a crime. so how irrational is it for him to say, this is not enough. i want to know when somebody is going to jail. i think we have that on john boehner. because, let me show you. >> my question isn't about who will resign. my question is, who is going to
3:41pm
jail over this scandal? >> victoria, i mean, houston, come in here. my question is who will resign, who is going to jail? what's the charge, mr. boehner and who is the defendant? how do you go there, victoria? >> well, it is about beating the bush in order to get some type of political response. republicans, democrats, independents, we all want to get to the bottom of it in terms of truth. what we're seeing is a platform for politics. in a larger scope, this is so worrisome because congress has already come to a screeching halt. we have not seen congress do anything of substance. we have seen historically the 112th congress, the least of any congress on record. what we do see is a congress trying to repeal obama care 36 time. when it come to rolling up your sleeves, we don't see anything about that. to get to the light of day we need efficiency and sadly, i
3:42pm
don't really trust congress when it come to efficiency. they showed no efficiency in the past couple of years. going forward, if anything, we need less commissions. instead of four or five commissions in the hodgepodge, let's have the focus on what's at stake. >> when she mentions obama care, no matter what, they go after obama care. we had one come out today saying, now remember the irs. helps to deal with obama care. so they're trying to make all their political points while again, as i said earlier, no one has ever said in all of this that the president or any operative of the president directed anyone in the irs to do this. how this becomes an obama scandal is way beyond logic. >> it is an obama scandal because barack obama exists. >> and exists as president. >> exactly.
3:43pm
and i think it is ironic that the people who most want to destroy government are now demanding that the obama administration prostrate themselves in front of the tea party who are one-third of the milk yanl milkant groups. there was a democrat told you cannot be a c-3. karl rove gets to be a charitable organization, whatever they're calling these. there were democratic organizations targeted, too. no one is asking the federal government to apologize before the democratic groups who were told no. the tea party groups were told yes. what i worry about is that the irs will become even more timid about policing this out of control situation where you have groups clearly 100% political getting a status that allows them to be effectively subsidized by taxpayers. >> joy reid, victoria, thank you. ahead, we'll shift gears
3:44pm
with a big surprise. from the suspect in the cleveland house of horrors. his lawyer is speaking out, saying he is not a monster. stay with us.
3:45pm
3:46pm
a surprise decision by the suspect, next.
3:47pm
[ chainsaw buzzing ] humans. sometimes, life trips us up. sometimes, we trip ourselves up. and although the mistakes may seem to just keep coming at you, so do the solutions. like multi-policy discounts from liberty mutual insurance. save up to 10% just for combining your auto and home insurance. call liberty mutual insurance at... to speak with an insurance expert and ask about all the personalized savings available for when you get married, move into a new house, or add a car to your policy. personalized coverage and savings -- all the things humans need to make our world a little less imperfect. call... and ask about all the ways you could save. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy?
3:48pm
we're learning gruesome new details about what happened inside the cleveland house of horrors. the man suspected of kidnapping and raping three women for a decade is behind bars in isolation and on suicide watch. today for the first time we're hearing from his lawyers. >> when the judge at the arraignment says, how do you plead to kidnapping? how do you plead to rape and whatever else, what are you going to say? >> it is going to be two words. not guilty. >> but castro seen here playing guitar reportedly confessed to interrogators saying, he is cold-blooded and addicted to sex and that he couldn't control his impulses. his own family calls him, quote, a monster.
3:49pm
but his lawyers say this. >> well, i think that the initial important trail by the media has been one of a, quote, monster, and that is not the impression that i got when i talked to him for three hours. >> not a monster? according to reuters, the base many where the three women were held had change coming from the wall and dog leashes from the ceiling. that have the women were restrain with duct tape in positions which led them with bedsores. today he is pleading not guilty. joining me from cleveland, tom meyer, the investigative reporter from wkyc who got the exclusive interview with castro's lawyers. tom, thanks for coming back on the show. >> good evening. >> what struck you most in your interview with the castro
3:50pm
strategy? >> well, what struck me is that they met with them for three hours in isolation at county jail. they came away with the impression that castro is a regular guy. that everybody in this town and across the country is trying to demonize him before they know the entire story. they came away saying this guy is definitely not a monster. and you have to hear his side of the story before there is a rush to judgment. now, having said that, they only met with him for three hours on two occasions. how well do they really know him? these are tim pregnancies they came away with. they said they're receiving death threats and hate mail already for taking on this case but let me tell you something. they are veteran attorneys. they're not afraid of anything. they've taken on some tough cases. craig weintraub is a former stand county prosecutor who works in the same office as tim
3:51pm
mcginty who is seeking additional charges. jay, the defendant serial killer in the cases of women who survived his brutal attacks. so these guys have been around the block a few times. they just feel that every accused criminal deserves a zealous defense and their aim is to give castro the best possible defense. >> talking about craig weintraub, he talked about in your exclusive interview, castro's love for his daughter. the daughter that was born while her and her mother was captive. let me show first the statement that he made to you. >> i do know that he loves his daughter very much. >> which one? >> jocelyn. >> he loves her. >> i can tell that you mr.
3:52pm
castro is extremely committed to the well being and positive future for his daughter whom he loves dearly. >> so clearly, it seems they're going to try to humanize him. he loves his daughter. but what happens when it comes out in court, how his daughter was born? that the daughter's mother was kidnapped and being held in those conditions continually raped, and that the daughter was actually the birth of the daughter was allegedly done in a way that was not medically okay for the daughter. the facts will come out when he says he loves this young girl. >> i can't disagree. that child belongs to amanda berry, one of the three women held in captivity.
3:53pm
and the baby, amanda, none of the women ever received any kind of medical care or saw a doctor in the ten years that they were held captive. so yeah. it will be a tough one to argue. i'm going to still be surprised if this goes to trial. >> let's bring in wendy murphy. clearly there is an effort to humanize mr. castro. kit work in your mind? >> not only does it not work. i think his lawyers are doing a terrible disservice claiming there is humanity in this guy because nobody cares. maybe a couple of the slave masters in the south were nice guys sometime, too. nobody cares. and when he says, look, every monster is entitled to a fair defense in this country, there is no dispute there. but that's all he had to say. that is all he should have said. i'm representing this man because due process matters in the united states of america and i will give him the best defense i can. zip it after that.
3:54pm
no one cares that he lost his daughter. not only because that is not possible, you cannot love your child and keep your child captive with a house full of women in chains in a dungeon in your basement. that's not love. no matter the dictionary, that's not love. shut up. that's the message to his lawyers. if they keep this up, if they suggest that there was something humane going on in that house and that sometimes the women actually had a good time, i will personally file a complaint against the bar of ohio to strip them of their license to practice law. that's how disgusting this trial strategy already is. >> now, we sandy, led me ask yo tom mentioned there may not be a trial. could there be a deal made here? >> thank you. >> i think you're exactly right. that part of what we're watching here is the establishment of some leverage so that he can
3:55pm
plead guilty to something less than life behind bars or the death penalty. if you're a real man, if you have an ounce of human anlt, you don't prop up the child you created from rape and you don't wave around the idea that you weren't such a monster in a house full of women in cages as lenk. you fall on your sword, you beg forgiveness, you offer to get whatever treatment there might be for this condition and you stop talking. that's how you get sympathy. shut up and apologize. >> do you think that the politics of this would be so that they no matter what could not give this guy a deal at all, that the public would accept? he is likely to face thousands of charges when the grand jury is done. i'll be glad to give him a discount to 1,200. he will still get life after life after life. i don't know that he will face the death penalty but it may be
3:56pm
that's what we're watching. the d.a. is posturing saying i'm going to get the death penalty on the table because you killed an unborn child. you're going to prop up that you're a loving father. we'll meet in the middle with 12 life sentences. i would be all right with you. you call yourself a suds-maker?
3:57pm
i need a new recruit! dawn? you won't last. [ female announcer ] a drop of dawn has active suds that stay stronger longer, so you can clean 2x more greasy dishes. dawn does more. [ sponge ] so it's not a chore. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ]
3:58pm
was a record collection. no. there was that fuzzy stuff on the gouda. [ both ] ugh! when it came to our plants... we were so confused. how much is too much water? too little? until we got miracle-gro moisture control. it does what basic soils don't by absorbing more water, so it's there when plants need it. yeah, they're bigger and more beautiful. guaranteed. in pots. in the ground. in a ukulele. are you kidding me? that was my idea. with the right soil... everyone grows with miracle-gro. [ dennis ] allstate wants everyone to be protected on the road. whether you're an allstate customer or not. all you have to do is call. [ female announcer ] call and sign up for good hands roadside assistance today. [ dennis ] are you in good hands?
3:59pm
i will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency but specially irs given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. >> president obama addressing the irs situation. for the last day and a half, two days, we've heard of three very serious issues. benghazi, irs, and the a.p. these issues need to be dealt with. i've been one to question the government overreach. but there is a world famous
4:00pm
place called times square where people get beat out of their money in a three-card monty game. where conmen move cards around and you forget where you saw the ball underneath. keep your eye on the ball. don't turn this into a three-card monty game. don't just blame the president. let's get to the facts. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. taking charge. let's play "hardball." president obama showed who was boston. the boss is the one who can fire you and fire someone he did. the head of the irs is out. obama said he was asked for his resignation and he gave it. so

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)